Guest / Limited Access /

Vatican archaeologist: Paul really is buried where the church said he is
Giorgio Filippi, a archeology specialist with the Vatican Museums, says a sarcophagus containing the remains of the apostle Paul has been discovered in the basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura (St. Paul Outside the Walls).

"The tomb that we discovered is the one that the popes and the Emperor Theodosius (379- 395) saved and presented to the whole world as being the tomb of the apostle," Filippi told Catholic World News (partial reprint) after a brief item appeared in an Italian news report Wednesday.

"An initial survey enabled archeologists to reconstruct the shape of the original basilica, built early in the 4th century," Catholic World News reported. The article continues:

A second excavation, under the main altar of the basilica, brought the Vatican team to the sarcophagus, which was located on what would have been ground level for the original 4th-century building. Under the altar was a marble plaque was still visible, dating back to the 4th century, and bearing the inscription: "Apostle Paul, martyr." Filippi remarks that surprisingly, "Nobody ever thought to look behind that plaque." When the Vatican team looked, they found the sarcophagus.

We're still feeling the fallout from the last time we got all excited about an archaeological link to the early apostles. Weblog will let the pros debate this one for now. But it's worth noting this section from Christianity Today sister publication Christian History and Biography's special issue on Paul:

The New Testament doesn't tell us [how and when Paul died]. Acts ends with the cliffhanger: Paul under house arrest in Rome while awaiting trial. What happened next, the writer didn't say. Perhaps he figured his ...
Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedBiblical Archaeology's Top Ten Discoveries of 2013
Biblical Archaeology's Top Ten Discoveries of 2013
A glimpse into the important work that goes on at excavations across Israel every year.
TrendingMark Driscoll Resigns from Mars Hill
Mark Driscoll Resigns from Mars Hill
"I do not want to be the source of anything that might detract from our church’s mission."
Editor's PickThe Softer Face of Calvinism
The Softer Face of Calvinism
Reformed theology is more irenic and diverse than you think, says theologian Oliver Crisp.
Comments
Christianity Today
Paul's Tomb Reportedly Discovered
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

February 2005

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.